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*** UPDATED x1 - Alaina Hampton responds *** Madigan warns his members against sexual harassment of staff

Tuesday, Mar 6, 2018

* Press release…

Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Tuesday:

“Over the past several weeks, I have had meetings with members, staff and lobbyists to discuss issues of sexual harassment. Due to my recent meetings with staff, I felt it necessary to address some of the concerns they raised directly with the members of the House Democratic Caucus. The statement below was delivered to the caucus this afternoon:

    “A handout you received during last week’s caucus detailed complaints brought to the chief of staff, directors, supervisors and the ethics officer over the last five years, including sexual harassment complaints made by staff against members. I want to be crystal clear - it is inappropriate for members to make sexual comments or sexual advances to, or engage in sexual relationships with, staff, whether that person is employed directly by you, the Office of the Speaker, or another caucus. This applies to both male and female legislators.

    “It is clear from my discussions that staff view you as their superiors or supervisors, and with that you are in positions of power over them. This dynamic is ripe for potential harassment. I expect each of you to treat staff with respect and keep your relationships strictly professional. If I become aware of any complaints against a member by staff, or another member, I will personally get involved to put an end to it.”

*** UPDATE *** Alaina Hampton press release…

“Speaker Madigan now says he is committed to getting ‘personally involved’ in preventing sexual harassment. That may prove to be a step forward–but today, it rings hollow. The Speaker had three months to get ‘personally involved’ in my case, but took no action until he knew the story was about to come out.

“Perhaps my telling my own story publicly, combined with the EEOC’s notification of my right to sue last week, has caused the Speaker to have a revelation about his ethical and moral obligation to those who have been harassed and even assaulted in his own organization. More likely, he’s being driven to action by the threat of losing his grip on power–not by any personal concern for the well being of the women in the House Democratic Caucus or the Democratic Party of Illinois.

“I, and countless other victims and survivors, will be watching the Speaker’s next moves closely. We are hopeful that he will back up his words with meaningful and swift action.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - Iggy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    I will personally get involved, heh. You mean like you did in the past and essentially told the abusers to knock it off.

    has he seriously learned nothing from this ordeal…


  2. - anon2 - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    I doubt any members of Madigan’s caucus take lightly his pledge to deal directly with violators. Once has to wonder if there are zero violators across the aisle?


  3. - Sugar Corn - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    Good for the speaker. Will Cullerton, Brady and Durkin follow suit?

    Isn’t it kind of an open secret that there are rampant member-staff sexual relations in the other chamber?


  4. - Norseman - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    Never had that worry when I was on staff. My girlfriend, then fiance and wife would have chewed them up and spit them out regardless of their status.


  5. - Retired Educator - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    Seems pretty cut and dry by the Speaker. They have been warned. I think if he learns about untoward behavior, someone’s head will roll. Now for the rest of the leaders. They should follow quickly.


  6. - Flat Bed Ford - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    Did the Speaker send Miss Soto a congratulations on her newborn? I mean I get his intent here but sometimes people do meet their soulmate while at work. Just sayin’.


  7. - brooker - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:04 pm:

    The most interesting part of this is he’s meeting with staff personally to talk about sexual harassment. To be a fly on the wall in those meetings.


  8. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    …Due to my recent meetings with staff.. This dynamic is ripe for potential harassment.

    Coming from a political machine that is embroiled in accusation of harassment this is the height of hypocrisy. MJM telling peers to do what I say not what I do !


  9. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    “Due to my recent meetings with staff, I felt it necessary…” and “It is clear from my discussions that staff view you as their superiors or supervisors, and with that you are in positions of power over them.”

    Really? You just figured out that staff feel they are subordinates? With these statements the Speaker indicts himself for his previous inaction. Cmon.


  10. - Signal and Noise - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:56 pm:

    – I will personally get involved to put an end to it–

    “I changed the “you” to “it” Mr. Speaker. It comes off a little softer”


  11. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:59 pm:

    ==You just figured out that staff feel they are subordinates? ==

    The way some staff order members around, I can understand some confusion here…


  12. - Not It - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 5:53 pm:

    ==You just figured out that staff feel they are subordinates? ==

    Tell that to Shaw.


  13. - Shytown - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 6:58 pm:

    If anyone thought Alaina Hampton was going away quietly…think again.


  14. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 7:28 pm:

    This could do what Bruce Rauner never will: dethrone Madigan. But wily as he is, Madigan will be as determined as ever to do anything keep his power.


  15. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 7:46 pm:

    Sexual harrassment will not be tolerated. However, it is appreciated.


  16. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 8:09 pm:

    Madigan is from a different generation. He married a woman who worked as a receptionist at his law office. Would that type of relationship be tolerated today?


  17. - Snapper - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 8:20 pm:

    This won’t take out Madigan. It should, but his members don’t have the guts to stand up for what is right. The only thing his members stand up for is what is politically advantageous. The Speaker knew, his Chief of Staff knew, one of his top deputies knew, they all knew that the guy was harassing her, but only did something once it was going to the media. The fact that he is a press release instead of just making it an internal memo tells me it’s just for show more than anything.


  18. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:13 pm:

    Hampton issued a press release because she saw what was happening - the story was dying - and her success in her potential lawsuit was dependent on pressure on the Speaker.


  19. - Responsa - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:51 pm:

    ==Hampton issued a press release because she saw what was happening - the story was dying==

    Or–here’s another way to look at it: Mike Madigan issued a press release because he saw what was happening. The issue was not going away as he had hoped.


  20. - Soothsayer - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 10:35 pm:

    What is an acceptable amount of time to spend on a harassment investigation? The Speaker became aware in November, right before the holidays, and responded accordingly in February. I am not sure that is terribly unreasonable. I think the greatest failure was that there was no system by which to effectively report harassment.


  21. - Who else - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 7:50 am:

    ==What is an acceptable amount of time to spend on a harassment investigation?==

    Ms. Hampton has stated that she was never made aware of any investigation. If she and her complaint were involved in an investigation, it seems like she would have been notified of that.

    Investigations involve going back and forth between parties to determine facts. What facts were rebutted by the Speaker’s organization that made it necessary to extend the alleged investigation out over the course of several months? Why weren’t those counter-arguments brought back to Ms. Hampton for her to weigh in on and give her side?

    Some questions about the investigations that have been conducted: What were the terms of this alleged investigation? What are the rules for these investigations in general? Who is interviewed? What best practices do the investigators follow? Who are the investigators? What are their qualifications? Do they work for the people they are investigating? Does that create a conflict of interest? (HINT: YES) What are the potential disciplinary actions that can be taken depending on the outcome of the investigation? What steps are taken to ensure that women do not experience retaliation? What steps are taken to make a safe environment for additional victims to come forward? What protections exist, in writing, to protect them in the investigative process?

    These questions cannot be answered. There is no real investigation process. There is no real protection for victims. There is no real accountability.

    None of this is not real.


  22. - Who else - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 7:50 am:

    TYPO: *None of this IS real.


  23. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:04 am:

    Alaina Hampton is incredibly courageous.


  24. - A guy - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:13 am:

    ==who have been harassed and even assaulted===

    Assaulted….Whoa. I’d say that ups the ante.


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